Activists call for release of union activist Maoj Maga, other political prisoners

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2019 01:30 PM


MANILA - Human rights activists on Friday called for the release of labor leader Maoj Maga, who was recently convicted of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in Rizal.

San Mateo Regional Trial Court Branch 76 Judge Josephine Zarate Fernandez sentenced Maga last May to 14 years in prison.

Maga’s wife Eleanor De Guzman reiterated that the case police filed against her husband was trumped up. Maga is an organizer at the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center. 

"Hindi talaga mapaghihiwalay 'yung panawagan natin na 'free Maoj Maga, free our unionists and free all political prisoners' dahil iisa lang naman 'yung pinagbubuhatan ng kanilang pagkakulong, 'yung mga gawa-gawang kasong kriminal na iniimbento ng inter-agency committee on legal action sa ngalan ng pagpapatahimik ng mga kritiko at anumang oposisyon sa gobyerno ni Duterte," De Guzman said. 

(We cannot separate our call to 'free Maoj Maga, free our unionists and free all political prisoners' because they are jailed for the same reason, the made-up criminal charges that were invented by the inter-agency committee on legal action to silence any opposition against the Duterte government.)

De Guzman, who is also a human rights advocate, said there were an estimated 540 political prisoners who should be released like Maga.

"Sa kabila ng walang humpay na atake ng estado sa ating mamamayan at kawalan ng pananagutan o impunity ay hindi pa tapos ang laban," De Guzman said.

(Inspite of the continuing attacks of the state against our people and the lack of accountability, or impunity, the fight is not over.)